Affirmative Action: when “voluntary” means “mandatory”

It’s also when “non-discrimination” means “discrimination”.

Colorado State U at Pueblo is but one of many universities currently recruiting faculty for the Fall 2008 school year. CSUP’s application instructions tell the applicant what documents to submit to be considered for the position. Among these is a “voluntary” demographics sheet. So, you “must” include the “voluntary” sheet that tells what race you claim to be.

The choices are illuminating: (there is a check space next to each option)

1. American Indian OR Alaska Native
2. Black OR African American
3. Native Hawaiian OR Other Pacific Islander
4. Asian
5. Hispanic OR Latino OR Chicano (Reported as Hispanic or Latino)
6. White
7. Other (reported as Unknown for Federal Reporting Requirements)

Why? And why is there only one kind of Asian, and only one kind of White person? Don’t they know that a white Texan is not the same as a white Italian? (Or that a White from Dallas is not the same as a White from Galveston?) Or that Chinese and Japanese people are not the same? And why is “Mexican American” not on the already-bloated list of options for #5?

Colorado State University – Pueblo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. In order to assess whether the University is reaching representative populations within the community and assess whether protected class members are represented among its applicant population, please complete the following items on this form. THIS FORM IS CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE TO THE GROUP OR THE OFFICE CONDUCTING THE SEARCH AND SCREEN ACTIVITY.

Even though the form is not seen by the hiring department, you can be sure that if they are hiring the “wrong” color people, they will hear about it from HR. In other words, the form will end up causing discrimination based on race, class, gender, as the university tries to engineer the “perfect” ethnic and sexual distribution of its community. Ultimately I suspect that maintaing such demographics offices is mostly a waste of a lot of money, and an aid to the continuation of thinking in terms of race. I’m not sure that these efforts are helping us achieve a truly equal and color-blind society.

I’m marking “other”.

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2 Responses to “Affirmative Action: when “voluntary” means “mandatory””

  1. Jon Says:

    I just had to take mandatory training on Affirmative Action for my company. It was unbelievably racist in its attempt to cater to these certain “protected classes”. How can we all be equal when a certain class is more “protected” than others? And at my company this happens to include gay and lesbian people. How do they know? How does that come up in an interview so it can be documented for the AA auditors?

    By the way, you don’t want to go to Pueblo anyhow. Too many something-cans, I’m sure.

  2. Curly Says:

    The AA people are unbelievably spineless in the name of supposedly making up for the sins of the past. I think it’s commendable to admit that something was wrong in the past, but come on. Let’s not reverse the wrong, and call it right—which is what the AA crowd seems to be calling for. They also seem to enjoy denigrating their own heritage, in the delusion that doing so satisfies the “protected classes” in some way. It doesn’t. It only breeds contempt for those in charge of AA programs.

    With the gay/lesbian arguments, if you push them logically they immediately fall apart. E.g., your company wants to “marry” my company, because they love each other, and want to work in the same building. Where’s our tax breaks? Why not, if that’s our “choice”?

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